NYC Placed on Air Quality Alert Due to Canadian Wildfire Smoke
New York City is facing an alarming threat to its air quality as smoke from Canadian wildfires moves across the region.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the National Weather Service issued air quality alerts for the city and its nearby areas.
Smoke from the Canadian province of Nova Scotia has now drifted to Quebec. Unfortunately, 100 wildfires are still raging in the area.
This has resulted in New York’s air quality dropping. Fine matter from the smoke, PM2.5, has been a cause of concern.
— New York Post Metro (@nypmetro) June 6, 2023
These microscopic particles can enter deep into the lungs and cause respiratory problems. They can also heighten existing health conditions like heart disease and asthma.
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DEC first issued air quality alerts for several areas, including Eastern Lake Ontario, the Adirondacks, and Western and Central New York. Consequently, the National Weather Service extends the warning to the entire New York City, including the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island.
The alert also expands to Westchester, Nassau, Suffolk, Orange, Rockland, and Putnam areas. The air quality alert is active until Tuesday midnight.
Meteorologist John Homenuk, who manages the New York Weather Twitter page, shared details on the situation.
Here is the latest Satellite imagery this am. You can see the smoke and haze (north and west of our area) from the wild fires burning over Quebec. The smoke and haze is expected to move over the area this evening and overnight and continue into Tuesday. pic.twitter.com/3rAuQ7C7sc
— NWS New York NY (@NWSNewYorkNY) June 5, 2023
Homenuk said, “It could be pretty hazy out there, and the smoke could be pretty noticeable on Tuesday afternoon and evening. But for [Monday night], I think it’s mostly elevated, [Tuesday] morning, it’s mostly elevated. It’s really Tuesday afternoon for a period of time, for a couple of hours, that it could mix down, close to the surface, and be really noticeable as it comes through.”
He predicts that the air quality can worsen anytime. On a positive note, Homenuk also said they don’t expect the situation to be severe like last week.
Experts advise caution and urge the public to take necessary measures due to the health effects that come from dropping air quality.
The DEC urges New Yorkers to reduce pollution by using mass transportation, conserve energy, turn off lights in unused areas and use fans to let air circulate.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advises the public to avoid vigorous outdoor activities, particularly in vulnerable areas, and consider indoor activities instead.
As New Yorkers deal with the NYC air quality alert, it is crucial to make efforts to monitor personal health.
Along with the precautions that DEC and EPA recommend, the public can also try additional tactics like decreasing personal carbon footprints, supporting sustainable regulations, and local environmental movements.
The NYC air quality alert highlights the significance of staying updated and applying necessary measures to minimize health risks.
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